Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Tronic Layering - The Tutorial

Long before i started this blog, i posted a couple of layer effects tutorials on Gimpchat, teaching the basics like Glows and Inner Shadows.
I experimented a lot with the steps and was about to write another tutorial by the name of 'Finer Glows' but then i decided to no longer post tutorials on GC and started this blog.
The xcf for my Glow experiments was still on my desktop and a few days ago i had another look at it. 
I wasnt sure how to distill my reseach into a tutorial but the layered glows were the most obvious result, so i played around and made the 'Tronic Layering' piece.

What follows is a tutorial that will present the basic workflow for this texteffect.

01. Start with a canvas 940x360px (depending how long your text is) in a neutral grey #595959.

02. My favorite basic font is 'Sans bold', because it always seems to look right.
So im using it at 200px, Spacing -4 (black) but i want rounded edges.

You see, some texteffect look best with rounded fonts and some with edges, depending on what you want to achieve.

Type your text, then blur it. The value depends on your font.
Look at your preview: as soon as you see a vague round shape forming in the „gaussian mist“, you found the right value.
I used 13.

Then use an alpha curve to find the sweet spot between jaggy and fuzzy edges.

03. Make sure your text is aligned the way you want, then following my usual routine, alpha select your base text and save it to a channel for future use.

04. The central idea of this texteffect is the layered glow.

Alpha select the basetext, invert the selection, then fill it with #d34300.
Deselect and then apply a layermask from channel.
Duplicate this layer twice, so that you have three glow layers.

Now we will apply the blur.
First layer: 5px
Second layer: 10px
Third layer: 30px

So here you see, how layering three differently blurred layers, results in such a special glow.

05. But we can still improve this effect by adding another glow, or to be precise in technical terms: an Inner Shadow.
So fill another inverted selection with a darker red #a4000c and blur the layer by 40px.
Then offset the layer.
15 to the top and 4 px to the left.
In the offset dialog (Strg + Shift + O) thats -15/-4.

And finally apply the layermask from channel.

06. To give the text more depth we will apply a bevel.
Duplicate your basetext, put it on top and turn off the eye (we do this because we need a basetext for the script but we want our bevel to be on top, so thats why we dont use our original basetext).

I used #fff7d4 for the highlight and #422908 for the shadow.
As you can see, i used quite a big value for soften. Also the shadow doesnt darken, but brightens.
Thats on purpose. In my first attempt at trying the tutorial, the shadow darkened the edges, but i didnt like the look. Played around with the modes and found that Dodge improves the overall effect.

The kind of odd value for the 'Angle' comes from the need, to get the best lighting effect for a good looking highlight.

07. Next we tweak the highlight with an alphacurve, like this:

Although it looks good right now, i wanted to improve the highlight even more. For that i duplicated the layer and applied a Motionblur, to extend the highlight.
Length: 7 Angle: 230.

I tweaked the motion blurred highlight again with an alphacurve. 
If you are not satisfied, you could duplicate the layer once more, to make it even stronger, but that depends on your taste.

I offset both highlights by -1/-1, so that they line up with the edges of the text again.

08. For the electric deco inside the text apply satin with the following values in a bright #17c3ff blue to your original basetext layer.
(NOTE: i later changed the opacity to 27%)

Duplicate that layer and tighten the satin with an alpha-curve, like this and change the mode to Grain Merge 75%:

Then duplicate the tightend layer again, lock the alpha channel and drag white over it.
Change the Mode to Normal 100% and tighten it again with an alpha-curve (dont forget to unlock the alpha channel before !), until it „pixelates and falls apart“. This will give you the „electricity look“.
I reduced the Opacity to 65%.

09. To geht more contrast, i blurred the basetext-layer by 20, with a small gaussian alpha-curve and an offset of 1/1 for a Dropshadow.

10. The texture inside the text is done by filling a transparent layer with 'Solid Noise' (10 on all values), applying 'Threshold' and 'Colour to Alpha' (black) and a bit of Blur (3px).

Apply a layermask from channel, then reduce the Opacity to 10%.

11. For the background i used the excellent Subtle Pattern 'rubber grip' by Sinisha.
You can get the Gimp pattern here. (Thanks Odinbc for the links !)

Mode: Multiply 75% with G'MIC → Deformations → Random 7

And this is your result:

1 comment:

AnMal said...

a very well structured and easy tutorial to follow, and a very nice looking effect. my result was simply smashing and will be posted on gimp chat as soon as i have had a cup of tea.